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Amazon union votes are still being counted but there's already a controversy

April 9, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 17.5%. 1 min read.

BESSEMER, AL - MARCH 29: The Amazon fulfillment warehouse at the center of a unionization drive is seen on March 29, 2021 in Bessemer, Alabama. Employees at the fulfillment center are currently voting on whether to form a union, a decision that could have national repercussions. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images)

In most situations, a mailbox is just a mailbox. But in the milestone union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, a mailbox installed earlier this year threatens to upend the whole process -- or at least become a focus for the union if it loses the vote. The public tally began Thursday afternoon.

But in the milestone union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, a mailbox installed earlier this year threatens to upend the whole process -- or at least become a focus for the union if it loses the vote.

Just hours before the public counting began, news broke from The Washington Post of emails showing that Amazon had urged the US Postal Service to install the mailbox ahead of the election, an election that could lead to the first US-based Amazon union.

Union elections are typically done in-person with NLRB officials present, but due to the pandemic the NLRB allowed for voting by mail, over Amazon's strenuous objections.

‚ÄčIn a statement to CNN Business last month, Amazon spokesperson Heather Knox said "the USPS recently installed a mailbox onsite for the convenience of our employees. "

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, which is conducting the union drive for the Bessemer facility, had previously raised concerns about the mailbox, saying that Amazon had in text messages encouraged workers to use it to mail their ballots.

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